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John Edwards Helps Senate Dems

John Edwards is providing campaign support for his former U.S. Senate colleagues in an e-mail appeal sent by his One America leadership committee earlier today.

Unlike traditional requests for campaign cash, the Edwards e-mail is aimed at recruiting grassroots activists willing to help the party win back control of the Senate in 2006.

"It's hugely important that you become involved as soon as possible with the [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee] and its campaign to win back the Senate," writes Edwards. "Only a Democratic Senate can provide the moral leadership that we are so desperately lacking, put the brakes on the Bush agenda, and shine a bright investigative light on Republican abuses."

The e-mail serves a dual purpose for Edwards: It answers critics who allege he is more focused on his own 2008 ambitions then helping the party in 2006, and it furthers his move to the ideological left in the eyes of party activists.

Edwards was the focus of some backbiting by Democratic operatives -- primarily ones affiliated with other potential 2008 candidates -- over the summer when financial filings showed that One America had raised $625,000 and spent $566,000 in the first six months of 2005 without making a single donation to a Democratic candidate or party committee.

Allies of the former senator and 2004 vice presidential nominee point out that Edward attended or held fundraisers for a variety of Democratic senators last year, including a December event for Bill Nelson (Fla.), an August gathering for  Maria Cantwell (Wash.) and a June fundraiser for Tom Carper (Del.) and Kent Conrad (N.D.). Cantwell, Nelson and Conrad are all up for reelection in 2006.  Edwards raised a collective $4.5 million in 2005 for state parties and candidates as part of his "Raising the States" program, according to One America spokeswoman Kim Rubey.

Edwards will be in Ohio tomorrow to raise money for the state Democratic party's "Victory 2006" coordinated campaign. That fund will seek to help candidates up and down the ballot in Ohio -- a hub of the midterm elections with contested gubernatorial and Senate races as well as a handful of House Republicans expected to be targeted by national Democrats.

The strongly worded e-mail appeal also makes cements the idea that Edwards is positioning himself to run as the liberal alternative to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) in 2008.

"George W. Bush is the worst president in our lifetime," Edwards writes in the first line of the e-mail before listing a laundry list of alleged abuses -- from the administration's handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to the authorization of "illegal spying on Americans" to "[Bush's] record of mismanaging our courageous armed forces in Iraq."

Since the 2004 election, Edwards has been moving toward his party's left on a number of major issues. Last year he issued a mea culpa for his 2002 vote as a senator in favor of the use of force of resolution on Iraq. Edwards has also sought to highlight the impact of poverty on the country since leaving the Senate -- a bread-and-butter issue for the liberal left.  In addition, Edwards recently came out against the confirmation of Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court, calling him a "grave threat to our fundamental liberties."

Edwards's moves come as Clinton continues to position herself in the ideological center and represent a tacit admission by the North Carolina pol that the best route to becoming the preferred "anti-Hillary" candidate in 2008 involves plenty of left turns.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 24, 2006; 3:53 PM ET
Categories:  Democratic Party , Eye on 2008  
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Next: Parsing the Polls: Can Hillary Win the White House?

Comments

While Edwards may have taken cases that helped people the average american will say that he also made millions doing so and think that was probably more his motivation. Fair or not that's just how people are. As for his policy papers did he actually write them??? If he did write them has he done anything with them? Has he brought any of them to being?

Posted by: Brent Parrish | January 27, 2006 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Read about Edwards before you judge him. He has fought for those who can't help themselves. He has made a mission of fighting for a cause unbeknown by the public until Katrina. His policy papers are brillant, and I like the vision he offers for America. I agree with you on the Wes Clark part. The Dems need him now more than ever with his foreign policy skills.

Posted by: Josh | January 27, 2006 12:55 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Josh that Wes Clark fits the mold, but Edwards hasn't demonstrated brillance ever. Yes he's very charming and the camaras love him, but thats just fluff. What has Edwards ever done that demonstrates he is capable of leading this country?

I'm scared if Edwards runs he'll have as much luck as our last VP candidate and he too will run out of Joementium.

Posted by: Brent Parrish | January 26, 2006 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I agree we will have to have a strong ticket in 2008. We will have to have a military man that is a genius on military issues. This man is Wes Clark. Having Wes Clark as John Edwards's running mate the team would be unstoppable. Really look what experience has gotten us in the last few years...nothing. George had two terms or so under his belt, and Dick Cheney with loads of experience. What have these man done for America with the experience they had? Nothing. It takes competence and brillance to lead America. John Edwards and Wes Clark fit both of the characteristics.

Posted by: Josh | January 26, 2006 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I find Edwards fascinating, because I think there is real value in his message and because I think he's got a shot to run as someone outside of the Washington establishment that seems so corrupt. He can draw attention to that point during both a primary, and if he got somewhere, a general election. BUT the knock that existed back in 2004 is the same - this guy has a Senate term of his name, and what else? The experience isn't there, and the decision to leave the Senate meant that he was essentially counting on voters to believe in his values and ideals rather than his experience. I think that might work in 2006 (with Dems running candidates at various levels who have military history but haven't ever sniffed the inside of a legislative body), but by 2008 I tend to think the country will be back around to looking for strong experienced leaders (not named George W. Bush).

Posted by: MikeMidd | January 26, 2006 1:58 PM | Report abuse

What has the Government done for Americans since John Edwards left the Senate? Nothing. Who has run this country into the ground since the loss in 2004? The Republicans and most notably Bush. Voters now know they made a mistake by voting for Bush. The 2004 vote was a measure on Kerry's ability to lead the country not Edwards. The fact is this congress, these current politicians have not done anything for America. I bet John Edwards misses being a Senator, but I bet he doesn't wish to be part of the class that failed America. In 2008, he will run as an outsider, not corrupted by Washington. I like the thought of Hope, Vision, and Promise, and from what I read about John Edwards is that he embodies those principles. To call a man fighting poverty, and fighting for traditional American values is not a loser. The only people who lost in the time John Edwards left the Senate is the America people.

Posted by: Josh | January 26, 2006 12:22 AM | Report abuse

We don't convey Hope, vision, or promise by nominating a losing candidate who hasn't done anything in four years. I hate to say it but by the time 08 rolls around the only thing most people are going to remember about Edwards is that he is a loser who's smile is just a little to big.

Posted by: Brent Parrish | January 25, 2006 10:10 PM | Report abuse

What does John Edwards stand for? John Edwards represents what America can become. He gives people hope. He fights for those who can't help themselves. He has taken up the fight of stopping poverty before poverty was in the spotlight. He stands for our traditional Democrat values of fairness, helping others, and pushing for an America we dream of. Please, go his website oneamericacommitte.com, read his book "Four Trials," after you do you will be willing to fight for this man.

I wathced recently on Meet the Press what the Bush campaign did to simplify the campaign. They were "strength, values, and honesty," and they won because they narrowed their principles. The blogger "Kitty" simplified what Edwards stands for :hope, vision, and promise. When you can sum up what a man stands for in three words than you got yourself a winning candidate.

I can only hope that Democrats, and everyone in America will unite behind John Edwards because he will show us an America we thought we could only dream of.

Posted by: PopulistDemocrat | January 25, 2006 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Bravo, Peggy Deuel!!!!

Posted by: crazyoldman | January 25, 2006 3:42 PM | Report abuse

This comment is directed to Rick: What complete hooey. There is no lawyer class in this country. The sort of nonsense you are spewing is the sort of kneejerk attitude that has gotten this country into the mess we are presently in. There are good, bad, and mediocre attorneys just as there are good, bad, and mediocre tradesmen, accountants, and presidents. We are all just human beings, who have to be in this mess together, so think, instead of just repeating something someone else has drilled into your head. Oh, yeah; I`m just an ignorant carpenter

Posted by: crazyoldman | January 25, 2006 3:31 PM | Report abuse

John Edwards represents the hope, vision and promise of what America SHOULD be. I can only hope that 2008 will be his year.

Posted by: Kitty | January 25, 2006 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I assume no one else is reading this now, but to respond to Pop Dem

I don't mind Edwards (actually like him and the work he is doing now), but I don't care what the debate polls say, he could have done a lot better, I mean it's Cheney, not some great debater, plus that comment about his daughter was so callous.

as for the rest, looking like JFK, being from the South, being an outsider and almost beating Kerry in a primary are all great, but if that is the best anyone can say about the man, there is the problem. what real competencies has he displayed, and what were the real results he achieved in the Senate. that's how I measure candidates. you make good points, but are they enough to win?? that's all I am saying.

Posted by: Not Likely | January 25, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

I assume no one else is reading this now, but to respond to Pop Dem

I don't mind Edwards (actually like him and the work he is doing now), but I don't care what the debate polls say, he could have done a lot better, I mean it's Cheney, not some great debater, plus that comment about his daughter was so callous.

as for the rest, looking like JFK, being from the South, being an outsider and almost beating Kerry in a primary are all great, but if that is the best anyone can say about the man, there is the problem. what real competencies has he displayed, and what were the real results he achieved in the Senate. that's how I measure candidates. you make good points, but are there enough??

Posted by: Not Likely | January 25, 2006 1:29 PM | Report abuse

My thoughts on NOTLIKELY'S Comments.
1) In polls voters said Edwards beat Cheney.
2) JFK won the Presidency, and Edwards and JFK are in the same mold and same talent.
3) Edwards is from the South. Southern Dems do good in General Elections not Norheast Dems.
4) Edwards almost beat Kerry in the primaries with 1/7 amount of the cash that Kerry had.
5) Edwards has the highest approval rating amongst Republican and Independents than any other Democrat.
6) Edwards is not a career politician, and not even a politician right now. Voters hate the crowd in Washington right now, and Edwards will run as an outsider.
7) Kerry as a Northeast Liberal Senator, a man with no personality, and no true message came within 30,000 votes in Ohio of becoming our next President. Think of what a Southern Senator, with high Democrat, Republican, and Independent approval ratings with a concrete message, not running against and incumbent and the talent of a JFK can make up those 30,000 votes in Ohio. Plus, he would win Florida, Iowa, New Mexico, and other areas in the South like Missouri, Virginia, and Arkansas.

I hope we nominate John Edwards and pair him with General Wes Clark and not nominate Hillary R. Clinton.

Posted by: PopulistDemocrat | January 25, 2006 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I've been a lifelong Democrat, a policy wonk in congress (both house and senate) and have something to say: after meeting both Hilary and Edwards there's only one choice: Edwards. Take temper alone... HRC loses it in public from time to time; Edwards understands how to be cool when things get hot. If you think GHWBush was bad when he got sick on the Japanese PM, wait until Hilary decides to dress down a staffer in the Rose Garden, in front of the press. I say 'wait', not 'what if'. I've personally seen her do it in the senate, and friends of mine at the White House had too many stories to recount while she was the First Lady. Every good leader knows that good leaders don't yell at staff - and furthermore if someone needs a talking to one doesn't do it in public. The simple fact is she's enjoying riding on the coattails of her husband and she doesn't have a single leadership bone in her body - do you really want that in the White House? Further, if you want her just because she's a woman, you're going to have to face the fact that you're a sexist, and while you might feel very "feminist" in doing so, the simple fact is you're voting for a gender, and that has nothing to do with leadership, domestic policy comprehension, international policy comprehension or serving as the Commander-In-Chief. Vote for Edwards who can bring true leadership to the Democrats.

Posted by: John Simmons | January 25, 2006 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I'd vote for Edwards, but then I'd vote for Donald Duck if it could be proven that he had nothing to do with anyone in the current administration. They are all so mean! And they lie, and they're wrong most of the time.When have we ever lived in a country where citizens could be taken off the streets and held forever without charges being filed or access to council? I expect terrorists to be bad and hateful. I don't expect my country and its leaders to be!

Posted by: Peggy Deuel | January 25, 2006 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I'd vote for Edwards, but then I'd vote for Donald Duck if it could be proven that he had nothing to do with anyone in the current administration. They are all so mean! And they lie, and they're wrong most of the time.When have we ever lived in a country where citizens could be taken off the streets and held forever without charges being filed or access to council? I expect terrorists to be bad and hateful. I don't expect my country and its leaders to be!

Posted by: Peggy Deuel | January 25, 2006 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Edwards would not have won reelection in North Carolina, yet you think he would win the presidency?? Talk about connection to lobbyists. How many pictures of Edwards shaking hands with tobacco litigation lawyers that got $200,000/hour and smokers got zero?

Posted by: Karen | January 25, 2006 10:12 AM | Report abuse

g.g. - sorry, let me clarify for you. current/former US Senators. I just assumed that was understood. now that you mentioned it. actually most former senators can't even get out of the primaries.

Posted by: not likely | January 25, 2006 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone have an update on how Mrs. Edwards is doing?

By the way not likely, he is no longer a US Senator.

Posted by: Glenn Gervasio | January 25, 2006 9:01 AM | Report abuse

3 strikes against Edwards.
1. when was the last time a US Senator won.
2. he looked unimpressive vs. Cheney in their debate.
3. too strong of an association with Kerry. that is never good

Posted by: not likely | January 25, 2006 8:36 AM | Report abuse

John Edwards represents the Democratic Party, in that the Democratic Party has been taken over by lawyers.

The lawyer class in America needs political power for its wealth. It comes at the expense of ordinary workers. I can't believe non-lawyers are serious about supporting him. It's becoming a government of the lawyers, by the lawyers and for the lawyers.

Posted by: Rick | January 25, 2006 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Edwards is an asset in the Democratic party. However, he is a one term senator just as Warner is a one term governor.
Like it or not, HRC has more experience and more grasp of the issues that either of these. A Clinton/Lugar ticket, yes a Dem with a GOP Senator from a red state such as Richard Lugar would go a long way to curing what ails America. This could unite America and gets us beyond this idealogy battle the neo cons are waging within America. I like Bayh as a Dem, but have total respect for Lugar on Foreign Matters who would be a real asset for a president. Would Lugar do this? I dont know but I would take this ticket over any others previously mentioned.

Notwithstanding my preference for an HRC/Clinton ticket either Edwards or Warner would be better than Bush
Both however would be better than Bush who only knew how to fail in business until his GOP Oil friends bought him a governorship and while Karl Rove made Ann Richards out to be a grandmother lesbian with his whisper campaign in Texas.(dejavue with McCain in South Carolina 2000 primary) Bush and his daddy and all the oil money some of which was Enron fraud money put this man in the white house. Todays Harold Myerson column summed up this Bush presidency; Bush The Incompetent.

Posted by: Clinton/Lugar Ticket | January 25, 2006 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Kudos to Edwards for helping out the Democratic Party.


Mark Warner and co, we're watching you.

Posted by: David | January 24, 2006 11:16 PM | Report abuse

What a candidate John Edwards would make. I am an independent and I have not seen such talent since JFK. John Edwards has the highest favorable rating amongst Repubs and Independents than any other Democrat. He has a certain dominance on domestic issues, and I read that he has toned his foreign policy skills working for that think tank. I think Edwards would go well with General Wes Clark that team would be hard to beat. Have the domestic strength of Edwards and the unparalled experience of ex-Supreme Allied Commander of European NATO Forces and four star General Wes Clark in foreign policy. Edwards/Clark ticket seems unstoppable.

Posted by: Josh | January 24, 2006 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Clinton is positioning herself in the ideological center? What the heck is happening the distance between the WaPo and the truth? The Center? The plantation remark was the center? This is the MSM attempt to get another Clinton in the White House. How blatant and untruthful. Clinton is a left-wing anarchist. Shame on the WaPo and their Hillary2008 campaign drive.

Posted by: Karen | January 24, 2006 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I believe John Edwards does what he believes is right, irrespective of the "positioning" game Beltway scribes like to play. To suggest he is trying to move one way or the other on the political scale is just play cilli.

Posted by: Paul Wertz | January 24, 2006 6:30 PM | Report abuse

One thing Edwards does VERY WELL is illustrate the importance of valuing work over wealth. That is a powerful weapon because most Americans will consider that a valence issue.

http://www.intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal | January 24, 2006 5:57 PM | Report abuse

carper is also up for re election in 06.

Posted by: john | January 24, 2006 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I think Edwards may be the Democratic hope for the future, I can see a Clinton/Edwards ticket, he balances her but I don't think is strong enough on his own. I thought he was the better candidate on the Kerry/Edwards ticket, and his wife was an asset not a liability as was Mrs. Kerry.

Posted by: JK Smith | January 24, 2006 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I agree that John Edwards is in a very strong position to be a force in 2008. With Hurricane Katrina and the continued constriction our manufacturing economy--Edwards's economic message is bound to be well recieved. He has been ahead of the pack and shown true leadership on speaking out about poverty and admitting mistake on his vote on iraq.

Posted by: Mattye | January 24, 2006 4:57 PM | Report abuse

John Edwards the Southern Charmer is going to be a major force in the 2008 primaries for the Democrats, and an asset in the Dems fight in taking back congress. While, Hillary moves to be a moderate conservative, John Edwards has established himself as a classical Liberal like the days of RFK and JFK. He can run the left of Hillary and seem as a man that is reasonable. He is not a northeast liberal nor a moderate. He is someone a lot of people wether the far left, mainstream left, moderates, and conservatives can relate to and that is why he has the highest favorable rating amonst Republicans than any other well known Democrat. Pair John Edwards with Wes Clark and Evan Bayh, and you have an unbeatable team.

Posted by: PopulistDemocrat | January 24, 2006 4:13 PM | Report abuse

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